Protecting the Elephants and the Habitat of Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park



Protecting Their Future

African elephant populations have undergone a catastrophic decline due to ivory poaching and loss of critical habitat. In just seven years (2007-2014) poaching has been responsible for a 30% decline in African savanna elephants.

The Tarangire Elephant Project, which has been active for more than 25 years, is the second-longest elephant research project in Africa. Its mission is to help protect the elephants and their migration corridors within the Tarangire ecosystem of Tanzania. The research team has individually identified and actively monitors more than 1,000 individual elephants. This kind of monitoring deters poaching efforts and allows for rapid alerts to park authorities in the event an animal goes missing or is injured.


About African Elephants

Long a symbol of African wildlife, the African elephant is the largest living land mammal with adult males weighing up to 15,000 pounds. Elephants live in socially complex family units of related female adults and their immature offspring. A family unit can be made up of 8 to 10 or even more individuals and is usually led by the oldest, largest dominant female.

In addition to poaching, one of the biggest threats to their survival is habitat loss. Elephant families need to migrate in search of food and water. Increasing human populations create conflict for African elephants because new roads and expanding villages have cut off many historic migration routes. Some communities are finding ways to coexist by creating fenced off corridors where the elephants can travel safely from one habitat to another.

Tanzania, home to Tarangire National Park has the second largest elephant population in Africa.



Tarangire Elephant Project

A Woodland Park Zoo Conservation Partner

Woodland Park Zoo is proud to support the Tarangire Elephant Project, which is protecting this endangered species and their migration corridors. These efforts help secure a future for African elephants and all the species that share their ecosystem.

Good News for Elephants

Protecting Habitat

The project has helped conserve more than 800,000 acres of land within the Tarangire ecosystem to help connect parks and protect critically important migratory routes. The goal is to double that in the coming years.

New Corridors

They have identified and assessed a 120-km wildlife corridor that links Ruaha and Katavi National Parks—potentially one of the largest wildlife corridors in Africa. They are working with the Tanzanian government to protect this corridor.

Population Gains

Tarangire National Park has experienced one of the highest elephant population growth rates and, thanks in part to monitoring, the lowest poaching rates in Africa.

A Permanent Presence

The project works with local communities—hiring village game scouts who monitor for any signs of poaching and alert park authorities of any concerns.



Helping Endangered Species

You can help save elephants by making smart consumer choices. The biggest threat to elephants and other wildlife is illegal poaching for the purpose of selling or trading animal parts, including elephant ivory.

In Washington state, wildlife trafficking is now illegal. That means it is against state law to sell, purchase, trade or distribute parts of specific endangered or vulnerable species, including elephants.

Never purchase wildlife products. Be informed about what you buy, especially when traveling abroad.

Read the travel guide